Beatrice Wood was an artist who expressed herself in printmaking and most especially in pottery, where she developed her own version of luster glaze technique, coating chalices and teapots with glazes that made them look like precious metals.
In her youth she attended the Academie Julian in Paris, but World War I forced her to leave Europe. In 1916, she befriended the Dadaist, Marcel Duchamp, who introduced her to other avant-garde artists. As a member of the Dada movement during the 1920s, her line drawings and watercolors earned her the title of “Mama of Dada.”
During the late 1920s she lived in Los Angeles, but in the late 1940s she moved to Ojai, California where she established a studio, gallery, and art school in her home. She learned to throw pots in the 1940s from the best technician in the country, Gertrude Natzler who produced refined and perfectly proportioned vessels. By contrast, the work that Wood produced was always irregular, organic, and often wobbly. To this she added a luster glaze whose technique dates from 9th century Persia. Her works – with their base of gold, silver, or copper – made her one of the most distinctive potters of the last half-century.